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National Lampoon's Vacation Blu-ray

United States
30th Anniversary Edition Warner Bros. | 1983 | 98 min | Rated R | May 21, 2013

National Lampoon's Vacation (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: VC-1 (22.14 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio
English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono
German: Dolby Digital Mono
Note: Spanish=Latin & Castillia...

Subtitles
English SDH, French, Spanish, German SDH, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Playback
Region free

Price
List price: $19.98, Price history
Amazon: $7.50 (Save 62%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
7.9
234
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 3.5 of 53.5
Audio 3.1 of 53.1
Extras 3.1 of 53.1
Based on 2 user reviews

Movie appeal

 
Comedy100%
Family7%
72%
popularity
1065
collections
82
fans




National Lampoon's Vacation

 (1983)

National Lampoon's Vacation Blu-ray offers solid video and decent audio in this enjoyable Blu-ray release

The Griswolds have planned all year for a great summer vacation. From their suburban Chicago home, across America, to the wonders of the Walley World fun park in California, every step of the way has been carefully plotted. So what if they lose all their money when their new car gets wrecked. And it's not too bad when Cousin Eddie deposits sour Aunt Edna in their back seat for a lift to Phoenix. But what really keeps Clark's eyes on the road is a flirtation with a mysterious blonde in a red Ferrari.

For more about National Lampoon's Vacation and the National Lampoon's Vacation Blu-ray release, see National Lampoon's Vacation Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.

Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid, Anthony Michael Hall, Eddie Bracken, Brian Doyle-Murray
Director: Harold Ramis

» See full cast & crew


National Lampoon's Vacation Blu-ray, Video Quality

  3.5 of 5

Much of Vacation was shot on location and on the road by cinematographer Victor J. Kemper, who is much better known for his work in urban landscapes (e.g., Dog Day Afternoon and See No Evil, Hear No Evil). Still, someone with Kemper's experience was probably ideal for the demands of Vacation, which was a challenging shoot under frequently difficult conditions.

As noted in the introduction, the transfer and mastering of this disc is identical to that on the 2010 Blu-ray previously reviewed. Even the files appear to be identical. Like the earlier disc, this one is 1080p and encoded with VC-1, as opposed to newer Warner discs, which use the AVC codec. Sharpness and detail are decent but not stellar. One has to wonder, however, how much room there is for improvement. Despite having some spectacular scenery, Vacation has never been a visual showcase. Its budget, estimated at $15 million, was reasonable for a comedy in that era, but not so generous as to allow for lengthy setups, massive lighting rigs and the finest analog cameras and lenses that money could buy.

The film's colors are accurately captured, with appropriate loss of saturation under the desert sun, but never to the point where it looks like an overdose of contrast. Black levels appear to be appropriate, and the film's grain texture looks natural without any untoward digital manipulation. The presence of the additional documentary, which is in HD, has caused Warner to use a BD-50 for this edition, but the film itself is the same file size and bitrate as on the previous edition, which did not suffer from artifacts. It still doesn't.

Still, transfer and mastering techniques have advanced in the last three years, and if Warner wanted to advertise this disc as a "30th Anniversary" edition, it should have provided fans with the benefits of those improvements. For 2010, this disc rated a video score of 4.0, but today it's worth less.


National Lampoon's Vacation Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  3.0 of 5

The film's original mono mix is presented as DTS-HD MA 1.0, and it sounds quite good for a mono mix from the period. Dialogue is always clear, and dynamic range is remarkably wide, with surprisingly deep bass extension, which lends authority to the sounds of machinery at the opening automobile dealership scene and to other scenes like the desert crash. Vacation spawned a successful soundtrack album, anchored by Lindsay Buckingham's original single, "Holiday Road", which remains addictive. A stereo version would be preferable, but the mono rendition mixed into the soundtrack is still catchy.

As noted when the previous Blu-ray was released, a few songs have been replaced on the soundtrack, notably The Pointer Sisters' "I'm So Excited", which originally played to accompany Christie Brinkley's appearances. The least Warner could have done for the film's 30th anniversary is restore all of the original music. The audio grade has been docked accordingly.


National Lampoon's Vacation: Other Editions



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This Week on Blu-ray: May 21-28 - May 19, 2013

For the week of May 21st, Universal Studios Home Entertainment is bringing Side Effects to Blu-ray. Steven Soderbergh has claimed that this feature will be his last theatrical venture - he shot his Liberace docudrama, Behind the Candelabra, for HBO - and if the ...

National Lampoon's Vacation & Vegas Vacation Blu-rays - February 8, 2013

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has announced the 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray release of National Lampoon's Vacation and the Blu-ray debut of one of the series sequels, Vegas Vacation. Both comedies star Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo and Randy Quaid, and street ...


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